Former WWE and UFC World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has been rumored to return to WWE television at almost every major pay-per-view since he beat Triple H at SummerSlam and then subsequently quit the company.
While many fans hoped for a return at the Royal Rumble in January, PWInsider is reporting (h/t Wrestling Inc.) that Lesnar is not expected to be at the PPV or the Raw the following Monday:
WWE officials actually discussed going against Brock Lesnar's planned dates and have him work the January 7th RAW but obviously decided against it. Lesnar isn't expected back until February.
There is no questioning how big of a television and PPV draw Lesnar is, but the lack of public appearances by the former champion has hurt the aura of the star and his mainstream popularity.
Plenty of fans across the sports world still care about Lesnar, but since he returned to WWE last year, the wow-factor isn't as high as it once was.
The blame for lack of televised appearances for Lesnar will fall on the shoulders of WWE management that made the initial deal with the MMA star, but the company was likely handcuffed by Lesnar’s demands.
As we have seen of the career of the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Lesnar marches to the beat of his own drummer—that looks to include working only a few days each year.
It would have been better for WWE to get Lesnar back on TV all the way from the Royal Rumble through WrestleMania 29, but if there are a limited amount of dates on the contract, the WWE is smart to save them all for the road to WrestleMania.
The Royal Rumble is an important PPV for the WWE, but there is no comparison between the January show and the way the company blows out WrestleMania each year.
The Rock vs. CM Punk and the actual Royal Rumble match can carry this month’s PPV, but the WWE will need Lesnar and The Rock on the same WrestleMania 29 card to make the company's biggest event feel even more special.
Add in the fact that The Rock is likely just a few weeks away from winning the WWE Title, and Vince McMahon and company don’t want to overshadow what they view as the main attraction.
Brock will be back in the WWE soon enough—be patient.
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